Leonard’s Skipper

Hesperia leonardus

This has always been my favorite skipper, because it makes its first appearance of the year as the main butterfly season is waning. In addition, it uses blazing star as a nectar source, making it easier to locate. I often look for this species by using my binoculars and carefully scanning all the blazing stars looking for this species nectaring. Though finding it does not guarantee that it will be easy to photograph, as this species is very active and skips around a lot while nectaring.

Weekly sightings for Leonard’s Skipper

Identifying characteristics

Below, this species is orange with a reddish tinge that seems to highlight the lighter spots, especially in fresh individuals. Above, the males are orange with a wide black margin and a stigma through the middle of the front wing. The female is much darker with light colored spots.

Similar species

Above, the Common Branded Skipper is very similar to the Leonard’s Skipper. Below, the Leonard’s Skipper has a reddish tinge that contrasts greatly with the light spots. On the Common Branded Skipper, this ground color has some light greenish coloring to it, which makes it much lighter looking than the Leonard’s Skipper.

Habitat

Prairie and barren areas, usually with abundant nectar sources.

Flight

This species is single-brooded and may be seen from early August to early September.

Abundance

This species is fairly abundant in some areas, but it is still unusual to see more than 20 individuals in a day.

Late Leonard’s Skipper Sightings

Date County Reported by
Sep 14, 2006 Grant Todd Sima
Sep 14, 2019 Sauk Mark E. Johnson
Sep 17, 2001 Richland James C. Parkinson
Sep 18, 2005 Monroe Lennie Lichter
Sep 20, 2007 Sauk Ann Thering

Locations

Map showing sighting locations for Leonard's Skipper
Map key
Leonard's SkipperClick to enlarge

Muralt SNA, Green Co., WI, September 3, 2005.

Leonard's SkipperClick to enlarge

Male

Muralt SNA, Green Co., WI, September 3, 2005.

Leonard's SkipperClick to enlarge

Female

Muralt SNA, Green Co., WI, September 3, 2005.

Leonard's SkipperClick to enlarge

Muralt SNA, Green Co., WI, September 3, 2005.

Leonard's SkipperClick to enlarge

Mecan Springs, Waushara Co., WI, August 18, 2004.